Showing posts from April, 2015

Aintree Ladies Day

Bacchy and Debs swung by our place on Thursday afternoon. Bacchy’s finely crafted plan involved me joining them for a departure just before the Foxhunters so the three of us could hook up with their friends in Altrincham. From there to the races the next day. I had never been to Aintree before and it had been years since Bacchy’s last appearance. The trip had its roots in a drunken conversation in the Mow during a Christmas drink. How many similar aspirations never even make it out of the pub door? So there was cause for smugness as we sat in our back garden, lapping up the Spring rays and contemplating a decent opening day card. My lumpy forehead, courtesy of a losing altercation with an intransigent Whitstable door, was a last minute scare. But the tennis ball on my left temple was receding by the hour.    We caught the majority of the action between the bookies and the telly, whilst Debs and Mrs A hit the hostelries.  Silviniaco Conti was brave in the Betfred Bowl, conf

Use your head

This fine April weather has given my high forehead a decent bit of sun blush.  “Look at your tan! Have you been away?” people keep asking me. “Yes. Whitstable!” I reply.   Not quite Grenada (as I watch a turgid test match unfold in the Caribbean), but very nice all the same. We celebrated one Easter and two birthdays in a tall, thin house close to the seafront. Close also to the Old Neptune pub, reputedly the only boozer in England to be actually built on a beach. Doubly brilliant, it’s not a Shepherd Neame pub! Coming to this part of Kent, with the brewer based down the road in Faversham, it is inevitable that stale pints will be supped that are drawn straight from the estuary and filtered to the pumps through a mucky duster. Not a fan. So the Harveys on offer in the Old Neptune was eagerly consumed.   Bex and GC recommended the place to us. Their party had celebrated New Year here and I was a bit disappointed to find there was no leftover wine in the fridge, nor beer i

Grand National betting - Opening Day horses

And so to Aintree. Second only to the magical Cheltenham in quality and importance at the top of the national hunt hierarchy. This season there is an extra week between the two equine festivals, courtesy of a religious one. This means there is precious extra recovery time for trainers looking to send Cheltenham horses to Liverpool. Others bypassed Prestbury Park altogether in favour of competing fresh on this flatter, tighter track. And all-conquering Willie Mullins looks like sending more of his stars to Aintree than usual as well. It’s not just horses that welcome the extra break. After a frenetic Cheltenham Festival, I’m delighted to report that I’ve had some welcome box rest, have eaten up well and am looking forward to making my debut at the Grand National Festival. I’m there for Ladies Day next Friday and I can’t wait to finally get a sight of the famous track. That’s day two of this tight, lean and classy three-day Festival. The action kicks off with some tingling actio